LAST year Greg Bennett saw Kaypers run third, beaten only half a length, in the Emirates Park Scone Cup and today the Scone trainer hopes the horse can put that right and win the $200,000 1600m feature.
Bennett, along with Rod Northam, Paul Messara, Luke Griffith and to a lesser extent Peter Bloomfield, John Ramsey, Michael Parkinson, Michael Gallagher and Mary Moses, will give Scone trainers a big presence on their home turf over the two-day carnival.
Kaypers goes into the cup on the back of a strong last-start win in Saturday company at Randwick and with the in-form Christian Reith to ride him.
“The horse is a year older and stronger, he has been holding his form really well and is back on his home track,” Bennett said.
“It would be great for the town if a locally-trained horse could win the cup.
“A lot of Scone people have been following Kaypers when he has been racing in Sydney and now they get the chance to see him racing, at home, in a high-quality race.”
Last year Kaypers finished third to the Melbourne-trained Speediness, which ironically had been stabled with Bennett, after coming from 10th on the turn.
He has only had nine starts since then as Bennett has carefully planned a program to have the horse at his peak for this race.
In five starts this preparation he has been placed twice at Rosehill, run fourth to Mecir in the Newcastle Newmarket beaten half a length, run sixth in the Doncaster Prelude then, at his last start, won over 1400 metres at Randwick on April 26.
Christian Reith rode him in three of those runs, including his win, and after that race Bennett discussed with the jockey his plan to tackle the Scone cup again. Reith agreed it was the way to go.
“I know he has only won the one race this preparation but that is a reflection of the quality of the horses he has been racing against,” Bennett said.
“They said that last year’s cup was the strongest ever and I don’t think this year’s cup is any harder.”
Bennett will also run the ultra-consistent Belannnoro (Blake Shinn) and Oh My Papa (Kathy O’Hara) in the Pages Event Equipment Country Cup while he will have one runner on Saturday – Pompidou in the Segenhoe Stud Benchmark 75.
He did accept with Oh My Papa in the Coolmore Dark Jewel but has scratched her.
“The Country Cup looks a much more suitable race for her,” Bennett said.
Paul Messara is relying on Rowie (Yusuke Ichikawa) in the Scone Cup.
The horse ran well when a first-up third in mid- week company on the Kensington track then lost Ichikawa when he stumbled at the start in a Benchmark 80 at the Hawkesbury carnival.
Rowie is one of eight runners Messara will have today.
He will start debutantes Hyacintha (Christian Reith) and Miss Manage (Nash Rawiller) in the Kia Ora Stud Maiden; Tarangower (James McDonald) and Perfect Tempo (Kerrin McEvoy) in the Cressfield Class One; Adequacy (Tim Clark) in the Turangga Farm Class One and Vocalise (Rawiller) and Tail Risk (Sam Clipperton) in the Dane Shadow @ Kitchwin Class Two.
Messara will have a quieter day on Saturday with just one runner, Rock Magic (Ichikawa), in the Segenhoe Stud Benchmark 75.
Luke Griffith has accepted with four horses today,including Akamas and I Love Legs in the Pages Event Equipment Country Cup while his two runners on Saturday are Bouzy Rouge (Kathy O’Hara) and In Top Gear (Greg Ryan) in the Segenhoe Stud Benchmark 75.